The President was accompanied by Yandex CEO Arkady Volozh. Yandex COO Alexander Shulgin and CFO Greg Abovsky told Vladimir Putin that the company has some 7,000 employees whose average age is 30 years. Most of them have graduated from Russia’s leading universities. Yandex will mark its 20th anniversary on September 23, the day when the Yandex search engine was launched in 1997.
The President was briefed on the main areas of the company’s operation, such as Yandex.Search, the most popular search engine in Russia, artificial intelligence projects and the company’s online services in telemedicine, education, business and transportation.
One of the company’s latest projects is voice assistant called Alice, which provides weather updates and answers questions about city routes. You can use voice commands or type in your questions. Alice is a unique device: unlike other voice assistants, it can simply chat. Alice is not based on the keyword recognition principle but analyses large volumes of information before providing an answer. Alice will be available on October 10.
Vladimir Putin was also shown a working prototype of a driverless car that uses Yandex software. The President watched the car drive in the company’s yard.